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Legalized Pot: Should the Feds Shut it Down?

Two states have decriminalized marijuana possession and use. The federal government is now eyeing ways to reverse what voters approved. We want to hear your thoughts on the issue Tampa Bay!

Voters in Washington and Colorado went to the polls in November and decided it was OK with them if people possessed up to 1 ounce of marijuana for personal use. They’re already lighting up in Washington, and Colorado pot smokers will get their day in January when their new law goes into effect.

All of this is subject to change, however, since the federal Controlled Substances Act technically makes pot use, cultivation and possession illegal, according to the Huffington Post. The Obama Administration is already hosting meetings to discuss how it should respond to the new state level laws in Washington and Colorado.

Right now, the Post reports, several options are on the table — none of which include allowing the state laws to stand:

  • Having federal prosecutors bring low-level marijuana users up on charges and then striking when the defendants file motions for dismissal based on the state laws. This would enable the federal government to gain a court ruling that says the federal law has dominance over the state legislation voters approved.
  • Letting the U.S. Justice Department file lawsuits against the two states to stop them from setting up regulation systems for marijuana and taxes on its sale.
  • Removal of federal grants for the two states, which essentially strikes them in the purses.

In an earlier Patch story, we asked readers if they thought Florida should consider legalizing marijuana like Colorado and Washington have. The majority of people who commented thought it was time for voters to have a say.

Now Tampa Bay, we want to hear from you about this new development in the issue! If the Obama Administration takes action against the two states, is that appropriate in your eyes? Or would it be too Big Brother like and an infringement on states’ rights? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Chip Douglas December 10, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Legalize it, but tax the hell out of it like cigs, alcohol, etc. Also, allow 1 oz. per household which as long as you're not a quote un quote Pothead it should be suffice. Moderation is the key ;)
Calvin N December 11, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Vote for Ron Paul next time. Or a libertarian. This registered Republican did.
Tim Henline December 11, 2012 at 02:37 AM
The US has spent six billion +dollars plus countless lives on the war against drugs. Failure of this pursuit is public knowledge. History showed that during prohibition, the harder the government fought it, more people responded by taking it underground. Legalization of pot removes all of the illegal growers, smugglers, and street level dealers. It also removes the manpower and equipment used to fight it. There is an historic moment that the Feds should think through before kicking themselves in the behind and biting their own hand. It is the will of the people- leave it that way. If the feds want to be constructive, go after these pill addicts- they are the true thugs and trouble in society-at least here in Florida. And better yet, go after the companies that continue to push sales incentives to the doctors who are overdosing these addicts, who in turn are a true plague on our society-that would be a fight worth taking!
Samuel Clemens December 11, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Michael D, you think Romney would have filled that place with a bunch of Mormons?? Have you heard of William Binney? He verified what many already knew. But hey, why worry about matters of true importance.....we have Fiscal Cliff nonsense to talk about for the next few weeks.
Nicky Roberts December 11, 2012 at 02:43 PM
I like your thinking Jim! The problem with the way the information is presented at this time: all drugs are equally harmful & addictive. Inaccurate at best. Kids respond by assuming that adults who taught them this don't tell the complete truth, are being manipulative or are just ignorant. Many of the kids smoking pot today believe, having done their own research, that pot is not only not harmful but that it is a safer drug than alcohol and or smoking cigarettes. (Which they may even witness their parents and other adults abusing.) There appears to be legitimate support for this point of view in the research. I have 2 concerns: My first concern is that young adults are getting caught up in the legal system for a drug that is no more destructive than alcohol or cigarettes and, my second concern is that because many young people might, because they have been given incorrect information about pot, be inclined to question the validity of information given to them about serious drugs like heroine and cocaine. I would think it better to be in a position to educate my kids about pot int he same way I have about alcohol & Cigarettes. I prefer the approach of giving people accurate information, free of religious or political rhetoric & bias, legalize pot & use the extensive amount of funding we currently spend on capturing, prosecuting & incarcerating drug users to help those who are addicted to life endangering drugs like cigarettes, alcohol, heroine, crack etc.

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